More details have been revealed for the National Theatre’s much-anticipated production of the 1970s Broadway show Follies which is due to begin previewing in August.
Starring the multi award-winning trio of Tracie Bennett, Janie Dee and Imelda Staunton, the Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman musical will play the Olivier Theatre from 22 August until 4 November with a press night on 6 September. Additional performances will be announced at a later date.
Featuring a cast of 37 and an orchestra of 21, the major new production will be directed by NT associate director Dominic Cooke with choreography by Bill Deamer.
Confirmed cast members include: Josephine Barstow, Di Botcher, Billy Boyle, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Peter Forbes, Emily Goodenough, Bruce Graham, Fred Haig, Aimee Hodnett, Dawn Hope, Liz Izen, Alison Langer, Emily Langham, Sarah Marie Maxwell, Kate Parr, Philip Quast, Edwin Ray, Gary Raymond, Adam Rhys-Charles, Jordan Shaw, Barnaby Thompson, Christine Tucker and Alex Young.
The creative team will feature music supervisor Nicholas Skilbeck, music director Nigel Lilley, lighting designer Paule Constable, sound designer Paul Groothuis and associate choreographer Kylie Cruikshanks.
Written by Sondheim with a book by James Goldman, Follies debuted on Broadway in 1971 in a production directed by Harold Prince and Michael Bennett who also provided the choreography. The musical won seven of the 11 Tony awards it was nominated for and includes the standards ‘Broadway Baby’, ‘I’m Still Here’, ‘Too Many Mornings’, ‘Could I Leave You?’, and ‘Losing My Mind’.
The show first appeared in the West End in 1987 and there have been a number of successful revival productions including two on Broadway in 2001 and 2011 and one in the West End in 2002.
The show will mark a return to the National for Staunton, the actress who won rave reviews for her performance as the ultimate stage mother, Momma Rose, in the hit revival of Sondheim’s Gypsy. Her performance at the NT in The Beggar’s Opera in 1982 earned her Olivier award nominations for Best Actress in a Musical and Most Promising Newcomer of the Year in Theatre. She has also appeared in two NT productions of Guys and Dolls (in 1982 and in 1996).